Is Pacquiao vs. Bradley a prelude to Pacquiao vs. Mayweather?

By Robert Jackson: It would never be right for a non-fighter to say that any fighter that fights in the ring to put food on the table for his family is a coward, lacks heart, or is a fraud. With that being said, the old boxing cliché “styles make fights” comes to mind, and many times certain styles for certain fighters are just all wrong and their handlers know it and avoid those fights at all costs. One could also say that those bad matchups are: high risk – low reward fights, and they usually are.

Every fighter has his weaknesses – an Achilles heel you might say, some more than others, and in a lot of cases it comes down to the style of the fighter they’re matched against, to expose those weaknesses. Trainers and Coaches say: fight a boxer, box a fighter, circle away from the power hand of a southpaw, don’t let a puncher set his feet, and jab your way inside on a tall fighter; this is the theory at least.

Team Pacquiao is preparing for a boxer/rusher who commits to staying close at the right distance to get his punches in, but far enough away to avoid his opponents punches. With good handspeed and footwork, but limited punching power, Bradley usually outworks his opponents in route to getting the judges decisions on the scorecards. Bradley also exhibits good flow between offense and defense and is pretty hard to hit. Desert Storm also brings a lot of determination into the ring on fight night.

Team Bradley, is getting ready for, a very fast fighter who throws 5 or 6 punch combinations (or more) and a very dangerous left hand which knocked Ricky Hatton out cold. Pacquiao also outworks his adversaries at a much busier pace than Bradley does, and may just be the fastest fighter that Bradley has ever faced. Pacquiao also has a much improved jab and sneaky right hook, good beard, and stamina to go rounds. Bradley ‘at best’ possesses a lot of the skills possessed by Floyd Mayweather Jr, but is not that complete yet, even though he would beg to differ.

This fight will determine both men’s state of readiness as they move forwards in their perspective careers. Outside of the 3rd – Marquez fight which may have just been an ‘off night’ for Pacquiao, fighting Bradley will give Team Pacquiao an idea of his chances against P4P rival Mayweather who does everything that Marquez…and Bradley do, BETTER. For Bradley, he will discover if he truly belongs at 147lbs or is he better suited for the 140lb weight class where there are plenty of good matchups and paydays waiting for him. By no means is Bradley coming to ‘lay down’ he’ll be the first to call out Mayweather if he’s successful on June 9th. Saying this, you’d have to surmise that a Mayweather/Pacquiao fight will NEVER happen with a Pacquiao lackluster performance or loss and the Bradley fight will be the litmus test.

Article posted on 04.04.2012

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